An exuberant tale of craftsmanship for nature lovers and rugged outdoor types everywhere
Robert Penn cut down an ash tree to see how many things could be made from it. After all, ash is the tree we have made the greatest and most varied use of over the course of human history. Journeying from Wales across Europe and Ireland to the USA, Robert finds that the ancient skills and knowledge of the properties of ash, developed over millennia making wheels and arrows, furniture and baseball bats, are far from dead. The book chronicles how the urge to understand and appreciate trees still runs through us all like grain through wood.
Robert Penn's It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels is a paean to the humble bike; it's the story of why we ride, and why this simple machine holds the power to transport us all.
Robert Penn has ridden a bike most days of his life. He rides to get to work, to bathe in air and sunshine, to stay sane and to feel free. This is the story of his love affair with cycling and the journey to build his dream bike; a freewheeling pilgrimage taking him from Californian mountain bike inventors to British artisan frame builders, and from perfect components to the path of true happiness.
'A gem of a book ... a joy'<br /> Economist
'Infectious, exhilarating, highly engaging'<br /> Independent
'Be swept along by Penn's enthusiasm, humour and refreshing candour'<br /> Sunday Telegraph
'Enriches your enjoyment of a ride'<br /> Sunday Times
'As a depiction of a world you might vote for, Penn's does not sound bad at all'<br /> Observer
Robert Penn writes for the Financial Times, Observer and Condé Nast Traveller, as well as a host of cycling publications. He is the author of The Wrong Kind of Snow. Robert lives in the Black Mountains, South Wales with his wife and three children and commutes to work across a heather moor on a mountain bike.